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Hill Tribal Markets in the North Vietnam

As you can see, almost travelers always ask about where to go, what to see, which routes to follow in Northern Highland of Vietnam on travel forums. Not many travelers take attentions on highland fairs (or knew as the name “Session fair” or “Delayed fair”) there. However they are places to go that we can feel about rhythm and breath of lifestyle in highland zone and its habitats. In spite of the beauty of paths, flagstaffs or milestones on the way, the picturesque villages, the white plateaus covered of  plum and apricot flowers,…could make you already satisfied, skip it you will miss 30% of trip.

 1.    What is the Hill Tribal Markets in the North Vietnam (Backward Markets)?

The highland fair is a kind of local market that is held monthly, weekly. This place is full of sellers and buyers. They sells natural and self-produced products. They buy the essential things for their family. From vegetables, sweet potato, manioc, meat, … to donuts, round sticky rice cake, cane and pieces of fabric, clothes, needle, thread, …

 2.    What they have there.

North west highland fair is original, natural, non-commercialized yet. Almost no tourists come here. The majority of ethnic people there speak language of Quan Hoa, a lot of people can’t speak Vietnamese.  While in North east highland, travel develops, many tourists come there, even the ethnic people can speak English fluently.

The “Backward Markets” is crowed and amusing. They bring products from the forest or the traditional products for: towels, cloth, incense, rattan chairs … to sell at market. Some sell food for serving people. But some guys don’t bring anything to sell and don’t want to anything, just come to go around and watch the fair. Some come there just to meet each other, confide, talk or review old memories… We can see even many enthnic women chatting and forgetting sales.

 3.    How to account the calendar of “Backward Markets – Cho Lui”.

We call these markets “Session fair” because these markets take place only in session and only 6 days these’re back.

In fact, the highland fair is stable, please mention here, because of 6-day meeting once, and a week includes 7 days, so it delays 1 day. This is the reason why people call it “Backward Markets”.

 4.    Where are they.

There are many highland fairs at local, but some are significant. The highlight fairs below:

In Lai Chau (Northwest): Sin Ho, Dao San, Market of horn (Cho Sung),…
In Ha giang (Northeast): there are 4 big fairs Pho Cao, Pho Bang, Sa Phin, Lung Phin but 2 last fair are nicer.
In Lang Son (Northeast): Loc Binh…